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#2047452 - 03/13/13 03:34 AM "In, Out, and Through"?
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1349
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
In the MTNA talk on adult students given by piano prof Michelle Conda in LA (at a big national convention), she gave us teachers the warning that "In, Out, and Through" is to be expected as the norm. In other words, they will try piano for a while, and then drop it. Basically I guess she was warning us that we shouldn't feel bad when adults quit lessons on us.

Ok, but her belief runs quite counter to my experience. Almost every adult piano student I have ever encountered - regardless of level, and many of them have been beginners - pursues lessons for years and years. It becomes an important part of their lives, not a passing interest or fad.

Your thoughts?



Edited by Peter K. Mose (03/13/13 10:29 AM)

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#2047460 - 03/13/13 04:17 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Dulcetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
I think an adult can have lots of determination and ambition and the discipline to match and be blessed with time to practice and attend lessons without too may interruptions.
However others can have the same attitude, but for example , be parents who put the needs of their kids before their own and their own desires and social life takes second place and have the interruptions stop consistent practice times and getting to lessons and so they give up. For some it is their own health or taking care of parents etc.
So two sets who have desire to learn but one set who can make plans all they like but life has its own drain on time and resources.

Then their will be some who have a dream, a notion, but no ambition or discipline.

I myself joined this forum in Sept.2011, bought a digital piano and some books. Started learning at home in October, had a busy December and time away from home, had a practice schedule all worked out and practised in earnest all January 2012, then got sick. Nerve damage in spine meant I became very limited in mobility and my kid took priority with the limited mobility I achieved each day, so ability to sit up at piano was gone. The desire was still there but circumstances wouldn't allow plans to work.
I would have been an inconvenience and frustration to a teacher if I was having lessons. I am glad I had decided to play at home for a year, to establish a practice discipline first and make sure lesson attendance could be consistent before signing up. It was the right thing for me to do.

I am trying again, but there is no way I am going to look for a teacher until I know I am in a good position to maintain practice and lessons before parting with money and taking up a lesson slot.
_________________________
It will be happened; it shall be going to be happening; it will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future. Simple as that.

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#2047517 - 03/13/13 08:20 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2535
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
If she were going to make up a label for me it would be something like "Annoyingly Persistant."
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2047523 - 03/13/13 08:34 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2083
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I just started with my first teacher.
I had tried to start piano twice before. Ruined before I even got going. Has nothing to do with piano. Has to do with unstable employment in this state. It goes all the way to the point of the local offices of the EEOC. They will go so far as to lie, withold evidence on a federal investigation. All to cover for the employers. The state bar association can't do anything to them as long as they're working for the EEOC.
Basically, they want your soul. Hard work, punctual, agreeable. That all isn't enough. They want your soul.
I'm into music and piano because I have a soul. I wish to express it.
I worry about my piano lessons ending. Having nothing whatsoever to do with piano or music. I won't mention it to my teacher because I don't want him to worry.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2047529 - 03/13/13 08:49 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
In the MTNA talk on adult students given by piano prof Michelle Conda, she gave us teachers the warning that "In, Out, and Through" is to be expected as the norm. In other words, they will try piano for a while, and then drop it. ...

Your thoughts?

I would want to see how this professor teaches adult students, according to which kinds of ideas. I'd want to know how she introduces piano to them, what and how she teaches them how to practice and study music, and how she anticipates and deals with potential problems and concerns of this group.

In other words, as a teacher, if one of your students has a problem, then you try to help that student but it may have to do with the student. If a group of your students have a problem, then you start looking at what, in your teaching, may be creating that problem. So why is it that this professor is having problems with this age group? Or the teachers she talks to?

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#2047531 - 03/13/13 08:52 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
I suppose adult pianists are much like adults taking up any new activity. With some it clicks and with others it doesn't. Some people start up at the gym only to quit a few weeks or months later...others are the same with piano.

Most folks I know have developed a passion that verges on obsession!

I think it is quite unfair -even ridiculous - to "warn" teachers about adult students as the vast number of adult beginners I've met (here and in person) have stuck with it for a 2-3 years before any of them gave it up. In fact I can only think of two who have stopped out of about 20. One stopped because family demands were too much to allow her to maintain a practice schedule. The other "gave up" and quit because she felt she wasn't making enough progress.

I think the woman who spoke must have had some bad experiences that soured her if she feels it is necessary to give out this kind of ..ahem... counselling.



Glad your experience has been better Peter!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2047535 - 03/13/13 09:04 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: rnaple]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 736
Loc: Switzerland
I am sure there are many "in, out, through" adult piano students. It is a tough discipline that takes a lot of dedication and time on the bench. I started lessons as a re-starter back when I lived in Oregon, and made great progress for about a year. Then life commitments interfered and I could not practice as much as I felt I should. I hated showing up for a lesson unprepared. My teacher was understanding, but I felt I had to put lessons on hold until I had more time to commit. I never lost the desire to play though. We moved to Switzerland a year later, and I was without a piano for another year. In Jan. 2011 I purchased a piano again and started back in ernest. Now I have the time to practice regularly, I have an excellent teacher, and it is a dream come true to be able to play piano again. So I was sort of "in and out", but never through.

My husband is the other end of the spectrum. When we purchased a piano back in Oregon, he wanted to learn to play as well. He was a complete beginner. He was very excited about it, and we had an excellent teacher. Once my husband realized just how much time commitment it required and how many years it takes to be proficient, he decided that piano was not for him. So he was "in, out, and through". He has other activities that are more rewarding to him.
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#2047584 - 03/13/13 10:57 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Peter, did you get any hint on how she approaches teaching adults that might explain what she is seeing? I googled the name and seemed to see material on group lessons rather than individual. I don't know how long-lasting group lessons are. I think there was a book on non-piano college students taking piano, and it didn't look anything like Guhl (I liked Guhl).

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#2047587 - 03/13/13 11:01 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Peter, let me say first it is wonderful to read about some of the content of the MTNA talks that all you teachers are getting to hear.

As for "in, out, and through" -- judging by the frequent testimonials in the Teacher's Forum, this is a common experience many teachers have with adult students. But judging by your experience, and by the testimony of people here on the ABF, it is not true for all adult students. Actually, it may seem that way for some of the adult students here but it would be misleading -- I think there are many of us who had lessons for a while, and have stopped lessons, but have not stopped playing and trying to improve at our piano playing.

I think of my own experience, where I took lessons for a year and then for a variety of reasons, both financial and dissatisfaction with my teacher, stopped lessons. But I am still playing and practicing and trying to improve as best I can on my own.
_________________________
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#2047640 - 03/13/13 12:30 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
I wonder how many child students would be labelled "In, Out and Through" if their parents would let them quit? I bet that number would be pretty high.

I agree that many other adults would stick with it if life obligations didn't get in the way. There are some who try things out and find it's not for them, but what's wrong with that? At least they tried, and made a decision before they wasted their own and their teachers' time. I find that admirable.

I once thought I wanted to play guitar. Luckily, I have someone near and dear to me to show me a few things, which helped me determine that it was more work than I wanted and that I would rather spend that time playing piano. If I did not have him, I am sure I would have gone to a few guitar lessons somewhere and been labelled "In, Out and Through." I tried something new, and it just wasn't what I wanted. It happens. Meanwhile, I have been with my piano teacher for 3 years, which makes me not "In, Out and Through." smile

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#2047668 - 03/13/13 01:17 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: AimeeO]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: AimeeO
I have been with my piano teacher for 3 years, which makes me not "In, Out and Through." smile


Well, I'm on my second teacher, but the change was due to a scheduling conflict....

Maybe we can start a new club -- the N.I.O.T.s

smile
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2047671 - 03/13/13 01:26 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: casinitaly]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 736
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Maybe we can start a new club -- the N.I.O.T.s smile


I like it! I will join the NIOTS!
_________________________


Working on:
Handel - Allemande in A Minor
Bach - Inv. #14
Beethoven - Sonata #79 2nd mvmt
Kuhlau op. 88 - 3

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#2047685 - 03/13/13 01:56 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
A Rebours Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 221
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
In the MTNA talk on adult students given by piano prof Michelle Conda in LA (at a big national convention), she gave us teachers the warning that "In, Out, and Through" is to be expected as the norm.


Hi, Peter,

This is really unfortunate to hear coming from a piano professor about adults.

Perpetuating this point of view towards adult students sets up a bias that gets in the way of teaching adults.

I wonder if this just doesn't lead from the get-go of not teaching the fundamentals of piano playing that ALL students need to learn if they are to be successful in learning to play the piano.

Rather than expecting the adult to be a short term student who eventually gives up, it might be prudent for piano teachers to really have a detailed discussion with the adults in their interview about what the student would want to achieve from piano lessons, what it will take to get there etc. Not to discourage the student, but to lay out what needs to be done to achieve a basic level of success.

By reading the posts on this forum, even those folks who start out wanting to learn the basics often up their goals as they keep learning new things.

I've been in lesson 6 1/2 years and just strive for more the more I learn.

I think if this professor would sit in on the various adult piano camps/retreats etc. she would be aware of the great dedication adult piano students bring to the piano.

The professors who have been the faculty at the retreats I have attended always comment upon how open and serious we were about our playing. It is a real eye opener.

A R
_________________________
Sauter 122 Masterclass (M-Line)

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#2047756 - 03/13/13 04:29 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 390
Loc: Midwest USA
Peter, could you tell if this was the result of some kind of survey or poll or was it anecdotal on the part of the speaker?

I would hope that an academic speaking to an audience would be presenting data, not anecdote. (But I would probably be wrong. :))


I don't know, personally, many adults or children taking piano lessons. Most of what I know of piano students is from what I read here at PW, and I assume the people who post here are self-selected for stick-to-it-tive-ness with respect to piano.

My guess is that if children could make the choice of quiting piano lessons, the incidence of "in, out, and through" would be much higher than that seen with adults.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.


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#2047801 - 03/13/13 06:25 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: casinitaly]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Originally Posted By: AimeeO
I have been with my piano teacher for 3 years, which makes me not "In, Out and Through." smile


Well, I'm on my second teacher, but the change was due to a scheduling conflict....

Maybe we can start a new club -- the N.I.O.T.s

smile

Yes!! I nominate you president! laugh
You are a consistent student dedicated to learning! Even those without teachers due to life happening but still plugging away shouldn't be I.O.T.s either.

I think we should swell in ranks and give her a lecture grin

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#2047813 - 03/13/13 06:44 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 381
Loc: Poland
Maybe the problem is elswhere.
In Poland it's very hard to find an adult teacher and amateur piano lovers organizations, meetings etc it completely don't exist.

However, maybe the point is that the teachers are told how to teach children and teenagers, but they are not prepared to learn to the adult persons???
So they are doing the same things with adult as with children.
With talking about music, of course there should be almost the same, but there is someting over it. Adult people want to play for fun, while children are always teached to be very good with very high standards.

It doesn't mean that adult shouldn't been learned to be a good pianists laugh
But they should be learned due to them skills, expectations (some of the begginers here may want to play in someday the Liszt's 2nd Rhapsody or 6th, while others will be extremely glad when they will play the Liebestraum or some easy Schumann or Chopin) and free time.

So maybe it's the reason of the skills and behavior of the teacher in many cases? Whatever you are doing, teaching the same from zero (or even not from zero) the child or the adult is something diffrent. Maybe teachers who has 98% of students below 20 just cannot switch to learn adults.

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#2047819 - 03/13/13 07:00 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: kapelli]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: kapelli
However, maybe the point is that the teachers are told how to teach children and teenagers, but they are not prepared to learn to the adult persons???
So they are doing the same things with adult as with children.

I agree with this as a possibility. Not so much that different things ought to be done with adults as with children necessarily, as that adults and children may bring different mindsets and experiences to their learning and practicing, and this may affect how the teacher frames the same basic facts and skills.

Quote:
Adult people want to play for fun, while children are always teached to be very good with very high standards.

This I disagree with. Fun need not be antithetical to playing very well with high standards. Also, even accepting some of the antithesis, there are many children who want to play for fun -- just check out the teacher's forum for threads about children who only want to play music they like, and not the musical diet the teacher would like them to learn. And check out this forum for many adults who want to play very well with high standards (and yes, I think most of us have fun doing it).
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2047830 - 03/13/13 07:14 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: PianoStudent88]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2535
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
And looking at the number of new piano acquisitions around here, "In for a dime; in for a dollar" would be a better description.

I wondered about the basis for this presentation too. Was it based on experience with 100 students and 98 of them quit before a year or something or did she just imagine that this is what adult students are like--when we aren't fading in and out every 6 weeks.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2047831 - 03/13/13 07:19 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: malkin]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: malkin

I wondered about the basis for this presentation too. Was it based on experience with 100 students and 98 of them quit before a year or something or did she just imagine that this is what adult students are like--when we aren't fading in and out every 6 weeks.


There is some information on the presenter. The attitude seems friendly and supportive enough, but nothing detailed.
article


Edited by keystring (03/13/13 07:19 PM)

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#2047860 - 03/13/13 08:17 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Sand Tiger Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1041
Loc: Southern California
>>Stubbie wrote: Peter, could you tell if this was the result of some kind of survey or poll or was it anecdotal on the part of the speaker?
>>

I would be interested in data as well. The anecdotes can be all over the place. With 1500 teachers at the conference, a lot of data, though perhaps not scientific data, could be collected on adults and how long they stay, vs. children and how long they stay. The percentage of paying students that are adults vs. children. How many teachers try to market towards child students, or adult learners, or both, and all sorts of other permutations.

Perhaps such surveys have already been done. If anyone has actual data, it would be interesting.
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#2047902 - 03/13/13 10:18 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 620
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
I think that even without taking into account the fact that some children only stick with it because their parents tell them to, it would be fair to say that there are many children to whom 'in, out and through' applies, as well.

Yesterday, I joked with my piano teacher that she must have taught half of all Dutch-speaking children in Brussels at one point or another, and that she must be a scary lady because they all quit. That's of course not true on either count. But it is true that I personally know at least fifteen people under the age of twenty who took piano lessons at some point, and then quit. And no, they did not in fact all have the same teacher. My guess is, some of them gathered quite a few fond memories during their piano lessons, which will spur them to take it back up later, as adults — the same way I did.

As others have said, though, there isn't much weight in anecdotal evidence — no more of it in mine than in this professor's. What we really need are actual numbers. Once we have those, then we can seriously discuss the discrepancies (or lack thereof) in the percentage of adults versus children who persevere, and the reasons for any such descrepancies.
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Future
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#2047909 - 03/13/13 10:35 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2535
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Or perhaps "In, Out, and Through" is a reflection of an individual teacher's lack of skill at teaching and engaging adult students.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2047970 - 03/14/13 12:37 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7598
Loc: New York City
Or perhaps the student's lack of talent, dedication, or a work ethic. wink
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Polyphonist

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#2047971 - 03/14/13 12:38 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: malkin]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: malkin
Or perhaps "In, Out, and Through" is a reflection of an individual teacher's lack of skill at teaching and engaging adult students.


She is a specialist in the field of "andragogy" and former head of an Adult Learning Committee. "Andragogy" = learning strategies focused on adults.

So apparently this person is either teaching adults, or teaching how to teach adults.

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#2047974 - 03/14/13 12:48 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Polyphonist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Or perhaps the student's lack of talent, dedication, or a work ethic.

For learning how to play the piano in a basic way, talent is not needed. Of course, if a student does have talent, then he can survive weak teaching since he'll be teaching himself, but bad teaching may be more destructive since he can absorb more of wrong advice.

Dedication and work ethic may be a factor for an individual, but not for a group. Especially if you teach one group differently from another group, and one of them is failing, then you have to question this different way of teaching. And there are often differences.

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#2048008 - 03/14/13 02:12 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
An interesting thing about "androgeny" is that what they say about teaching adults include many things that I would want to see for all students, including young ones.

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#2048031 - 03/14/13 03:54 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2083
Loc: Rocky Mountains
The comparison of adults to children shouldn't even be considered here. Many children are told to take piano lessons. It isn't a free choice of their own.

The analogy of exercise to piano is a good one. The IOT is extremely common in exercise. There is a vicious cycle of In, injured, Out, recover, back again. Also of burn out. People don't know what they are doing. Many trainers try to make the people happy to keep them. What they need to be told. They won't like.
When people get older. They must lift correctly. They cannot cheat like younger people. Their bodies don't repair quickly. People must do mobility work. They must get into some kind of yoga. This all is required for exercise/strength work. And don't keep doing the same thing the same way all the time. That's overuse injury.

This is something that impressed me in piano. Read a book where the teacher/writer talked about physiology. I related to that intimately. I could understand what incorrect form does. I then had to find a good teacher. This book also gave me a good idea what I'm in for in piano. What the book didn't. Talking to my teacher let me know the rest. And boy...am I in for it. Like going to college part time. For years. I can't help it. I hunger for it. I wish to end up composing.

The mention of instant gratification. May I expand on that? Many people are simply actors. They think they act the part and they are it. They won't accept hard work in their life to do something. They want to be entertained is all.

I do think what the OP brought up is probably correct. There are different reasons for this. Also, we need to admit that the people we talk to here are not represented by the people who quit.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2048035 - 03/14/13 04:20 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: rnaple]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
.


Edited by keystring (03/14/13 04:43 PM)

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#2048069 - 03/14/13 07:48 AM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: rnaple]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2535
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: rnaple

I do think what the OP brought up is probably correct.

I still want to see the data!

Originally Posted By: rnaple
Also, we need to admit that the people we talk to here are not represented by the people who quit.

This point raises a more interesting question...Do adults who participate in some community of learners sustain interest longer or have more success than those who do not? (not implying causation, just looking for a correlation).
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#2048308 - 03/14/13 04:42 PM Re: "In, Out, and Through"? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2083
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Oh...I get the theory now.
It's like a mid life crisis. We have the biggest nursery of mid life crisis' on the planet. Over a half million fat old people on Harley's in August. The Sturgis Rally.
That theory makes sense now!
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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